Charlene Rodrigues

About me
I am a clinician specialising in paediatric infectious diseases and trained in the UK. I undertook a DPhil (funded by the Wellcome Trust) in October 2015, supervised by Martin Maiden and Chris Tang (Dunn School of Pathology) in genomic epidemiology of meningococcal disease in the UK and Ireland using Meningitis Research Foundation Meningococcal Genome Library ( The focus of my DPhil was studying the diversity and distribution of protein-based vaccine antigens using microbial genomics and bioinformatics techniques, and how this can inform vaccine strategy.

  • I graduated from Leicester University medical school in 2007 having also completed an Intercalated BSc in breast cancer pathology.
  • On completion of the Academic Foundation Programme, I entered paediatric training in London as an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow at Imperial College London. It was here that I developed an interest in meningococcal disease and the genomics of host and pathogen.
  • I completed core registrar training and obtained a GRID sub-specialty infectious diseases, immunology and allergy training post in Newcastle upon Tyne in September 2014.
  • I had a renewed interest in microbiology following my DPhil so trained for 6 months alongside adult ID and microbiology colleagues at St George’s Hospital, London.
  • I obtained CCT in paediatrics and subspecialty infectious diseases, immunology and allergy in February 2019.

Research interests
In the hospital environment, we see the wide range of disease spectrum on a daily basis. Within infectious diseases, there are two factors involved, host variation as well as the pathogen variation. As I have become more specialised, I see cases of increasing complexity and now appreciate the practical and conceptual challenges in identifying this variation in the host and micro-organism responsible. Genomics  is becoming more frequently utilised in our diagnostics of both human immunodeficiencies and pathogen identification. Meningococcal disease is a fascinating disease to study as a model of disease (carriage, vaccination, recognising clinical signs, optimal treatment of sepsis), as well as an important paediatric infection with significant morbidity and mortality in the UK and elsewhere. My DPhil has allowed me to combine my interests in infectious diseases, microbiology, public health, vaccinology and genomics.

I am also interested in medical education and have spent time organising and researching peer-led teaching initiatives as well as being a clinical tutor/mentor at Imperial College and University College London.

LinkedIn: (a link)


Rodrigues CMC, Chan H, Vipond C, Jolley K, Harrison OB, Wheeler J, Whiting G, Feavers IM and Maiden MCJ Typing complex meningococcal vaccines to understand diversity and population structure of key vaccine antigens. Wellcome Open Research, 2018, 3:151

Chen M, Rodrigues CMC, Harrison OB, Zhang C, Tan T, Chen J, Zhang X, Chen M, Maiden MCJ. Invasive meningococcal disease in Shanghai, China from 1950 to 2016. Scientific Reports 2018, 8:13484

Rodrigues CMC and Maiden MCJ. A world without bacterial meningitis: how genomic epidemiology can inform vaccination strategy. F1000Research. 2018 Mar 27;7:401

Rodrigues CMC, Lucidarme J, Borrow R, Smith A, Cameron JC, Moxon ER, Maiden MCJ. Genomic Surveillance of 4CMenB Vaccine Antigenic Variants among Disease-Causing Neisseria meningitidis Isolates, United Kingdom, 2010-2016. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2018 Apr;24(4):673-682

Rodrigues CMC, Groves H. Community-acquired pneumonia in children; the challenges of microbiological diagnosis. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 2017 Dec 13. pii: JCM.01318-17

Rodrigues CM, Pinto MV, Sadarangani M, Plotkin SA. Whither Vaccines? Journal of Infection. 2017 74, S2−S9

Rodrigues CM. Challenges of Empirical Antibiotic Therapy for Community-Acquired Pneumonia in Children. Current Therapeutic Research 2017; 84: e7–e11

Brehony C, Rodrigues CM, Borrow R, Smith A, Cunney R, Moxon ER, Maiden MC. Distribution of Bexsero® Antigen Sequence Types (BASTs) in invasive meningococcal disease isolates: Implications for immunisation. Vaccine. 2016 Sep 7;34(39):4690-7.



Rodrigues CMC, Handy L, Plotkin S. Vaccine Innovation and Development, Maxey-Rosenau-Last Public Health and Preventive Medicine. In preparation for publication in 2019